Portland-based WeVillage has officially landed in LA and it’s upending (in the best way!) everything you thought you knew about childcare. Part awesome play place, part educational experience, and complete, no-strings attached flexibility make this this drop-in childcare center the first place to call when you need a helping hand.

photo: Shahrzad Warkentin

It Takes a Village
Every parent has been there: that day when an appointment suddenly pops up and you’re left scrambling for a sitter. No matter what the childcare dilemma is, WeVillage has the solution. Just need a quiet morning to yourself? No problem. Looking for after school care that’s flexible to your schedule? They’ll handle that—and even pick your kids up for you. Are you stuck on the dreaded preschool wait list? Hallelujah, they even have a solution for that.

photo: Shahrzad Warkentin

The Space
Catering to infants as young as 6 weeks, up to kids as old as 14, WeVillage is a flexible childcare center that meets everyone’s needs by allowing you to go by your own schedule, not theirs. The bright, open-plan space features an infant room, with cribs for napping, changing tables and safe space for crawling around. There’s also a huge toddler play area, a mini preschool, the coolest big kid hang space and even a giant rainbow-colored, web-like jungle gym that kids of all ages will be dying to monkey around in.

Each area is tailored with toys and activities that are age and educationally appropriate. The playful design—from a bicycle hanging upside down on the ceiling, to funky textured walls—make this an awesome, cozy place your kids will love and you’ll even be a little envious of.

photo: WeVillage

How It Works
Unlike traditional daycares, preschools and extra-curricular activities, WeVillage doesn’t require a specific schedule. Instead, you’re able to drop-in any day that you’re in need of childcare. Whether it’s just for one morning, an entire day, or you suddenly booked a gig and need help for the next two weeks: whatever your needs are, WeVillage will accommodate. They even take care of the food, offering kids healthy snacks and lunches catered from local partners, like ‪California Pizza Kitchen and Lemonade. All you need to do is make a reservation online through MINDBODY and show up, they’ll take it from there.

photo: WeVillage

What They Offer
In addition to hourly drop-in care for kids of all ages, WeVillage also offers a flexible preschool program. Instead of using a nanny while you wait another month to hear back on whether you got into the school of your dreams, just sign up for a short-term preschool session. The play-based program offered daily from 9 a.m.–1 p.m. focuses on social and cognitive development through hands-on activities.

WeVillage also offers after school care from 2:30–6 p.m., with an optional pick-up service through Hop, Skip, Drive. The older kids area has desks set up to complete homework and assistance if needed. Activities, games and a flat-screen with X-Box nestled in an awesome loft will keep them entertained when their work is done.

Besides all these amazing services, WeVillage also offers special events, like movie nights and special guest readers for story time. They host spring and summer camps for kids of all ages. Possibly best of all, they are open until 11:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, so you can skip the sitter and take your kids to a place they’ll be begging to visit.

photo: Shahrzad Warkentin

The Deets
WeVillage is open Monday–Thursday from 7:30 a.m.–9 p.m., Friday from 7:30 a.m.–11:30 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m.–11:30 p.m. The preschool program runs from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on weekdays and offers, 2, 3, 4, and 5-day schedules starting at $520 a month. Rates for drop-in care vary based on age with infant care starting at $22/hour, toddlers are $18/hour and big kids (6 & up) are $14/hour. Hourly rates are discounted when you pay for 4 or 8-hour blocks. A monthly ($25/month) or annual ($175) membership fee is required, but you can try your first hourly visit before making a commitment.

13335 Ventura Blvd.
Sherman Oaks
Online: wevillage.com/centers/los-angeles

What’s your favorite drop-in play & childcare space?  We’d love to hear about it in the comment section below!

—Shahrzad Warkentin